Four Canadians invited to 2024 NFL Combine

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez

Four Canadian players have been invited to participate in the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, taking their first steps toward selection in this year’s NFL Draft.

Offensive linemen Isaiah Adams of the University of Illinois and Anim Dankwah of Howard University will represent the big men, while Theo Johnson of Penn State and Tanner McLachlan of the University of Arizona will participate with the tight ends.

Adams has spent the last two seasons with the Fighting Illini after he began his collegiate career at Wilfrid Laurier University, starting at left tackle as a true freshman in 2019. The six-foot-five, 320-pound blocker transferred to Garden City Community College during the pandemic, allowing him to jump to the NCAA.

The Ajax, Ontario native earned third-team All-Big Ten honours in 2022 and was All-Big Ten honourable mention in 2023. Adams was named a team captain for the Fighting Illini in 2023 and started 25 consecutive games for the program between 2022 and 2023. He was recently named the top-ranked prospect in the 2024 CFL Draft.

Dankwah has spent the past five seasons at Howard University in Washington, D.C., appearing in 39 games and establishing himself as a three-year starter at left tackle. In 11 games as a senior, he allowed a career-low 11 pressures and two sacks while anchoring an offence that averaged nearly 384 yards per game. The six-foot-eight, 362-pound blocker was named first-team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference this year, building off a second-team selection last season.

Born in Ghana, Dankwah immigrated to Brampton, Ont. to live with his father while attending high school and began playing football at St. Roch Catholic Secondary School. After excelling at the new sport, he moved to The Taft School in Watertown, Conn. to finish his high school eligibility, before landing an opportunity with the Bisons as a zero-star recruit. He is currently the eighth-ranked prospect in the 2024 CFL Draft.

Johnson has had a productive collegiate career at Penn State University, suiting up in 45 games over four seasons and making an immediate impact as a true freshman. The six-foot-six, 260-pound tight end caught 77 passes for 938 yards and 12 touchdowns over that span, earning an honourable mention All-Big Ten selection after recording seven majors in 2023.

The Windsor, Ont. native was the top-ranked player from Canada in the 2020 recruiting class, earning four-star status without attending a U.S. prep school. He attended Holy Names Catholic School, leading the team to SWOSSAA and OFSAA titles in Grade 11 and 12. He is now the third-ranked prospect in the 2024 CFL Draft.

McLachlan has played the last two seasons at the University of Arizona, becoming the most successful Wildcats tight end since Rob Gronkowski. In 25 games, The six-foot-five, 240-pound weapon hauled in 79 passes for 984 yards and six touchdowns to become the school’s all-time receiving leader amongst tight ends. He was named an honourable mention All-PAC 12 selection for his efforts in 2023 and was recently ranked as the fourth-best prospect in the 2024 CFL Draft.

The native of Lethbridge, Alta. arrived in Tucson as a walk-on transfer from Southern Utah University, where he missed the 2021 season due to injury. In five years with the Thunderbirds, he saw action in 11 games and recorded 15 receptions for 168 yards and two touchdowns.

Adams, Johnson, and McLachlan all recently received invites to participate in the prestigious Senior Bowl all-star game, though McLachlan was forced to back out of the event due to injury. Dankwah participated in the East-West Shrine Bowl.

Five Canadians were invited to last year’s NFL Combine, all of whom were selected as part of a historic NFL Draft class. This year’s event will run from February 26 to March 4, with the tight end going through tests on Friday, March 1 and the offensive linemen performing on Sunday, March 3.